Right after the mortgage crash, in 2009, I got taken advantage of in a mortgage transaction. I was in a bad financial situation and it was very personally devastating.
During that time, every day there were new stories of people being foreclosed on, stories of predatory mortgage terms, people not understanding the terms of their mortgages, and robo-signing. I am sure that you remember it well, too.
At the time, I was the managing director of an enterprise software company. We made data analytics software.
Given that I worked on very complex data projects all day long, I realized that if I couldn’t understand the terms of my mortgage, then many other people (thousands, millions?) probably couldn’t either.
I became completely obsessed with mortgages! In 2012, I quit my job and started a software company called Tactile Finance that lets people see their mortgage options with no fine print. We made the software available for banks, credit unions and non-profits to use with their customers.
I learned about many things from running Tactile Finance, including:
- New, predatory banking products
- Loan officers don’t often understand the equity component of home financing
- Many refinances aren’t in the customers best interest
- Quid pro quo between mortgage loan officers and investment advisors that result in bad deals for consumers
- Mortgage amortization isn’t always reliably tracked by banks (!)
None of these things are well known outside the industry.
I also learned from studying the housing market that more than 80% of homeowners have over 60% of their net worth in their home equity.
If most of our net worth is in our homes, then we should be able to control it, yet neither investment advisors or mortgage loan officers are in a position to help us.
There’s a major gap there.
In early 2016, I injured myself and was bedridden for three months. I became really depressed, both about my immobility and also about the fact that I had spent four years making software for customers to get transparency around mortgages, but inevitably, because we sold through an intermediary (banks, loan officers, credit unions, non-profits) the customer only had access to the parts of our tools that the intermediary decided to show them.
That’s not what I had sunk my blood, sweat and tears into it all for.
I decided to start a business with no intermediary. That business is called Homeownering, where we are taking all of our insider knowledge, and getting information directly to the consumer.
The idea is simple: unbiased information that puts you on a level playing field with the professionals who serve you, plus, information you can use to take control of your largest asset, your home.
Avoid the Money Pit, Turn Your Home into a Financial Powerhouse
Insider secrets, plus research into how homeowners get good outcomes, and tools to reduce your expenses and increase the return on your investment.
A simple and free savings planner that has over 3,000 downloads to date. Plus, every month we send one tip on how to increase your net worth in your home and one way to decrease expenses, called “One up, One down”.
Our award-winning newsletter that gives homeowners and home buyers the highest quality, well-researched and timely information in a humorous package. We send it to our subscribers once every two weeks on Sunday mornings.
Coming soon. It takes the very complicated mathematics of mortgages and home appreciation and makes an easy-to-access dashboard for any homeowner to have clarity into their asset over the short and long term.
We also produce a lot of content around consumer protection issues:
- How to get compensated from fraudulent bank charges
- How to file housing discrimination complaints
- Deep dives into consumer products for homeowners
We’re completely unbiased and independent, unlike much of the content space for homeowners, where much content is sponsored or funded by the mortgage, insurance, or real estate industries.
My story in a nutshell is that I was wronged, I got obsessed, and I won’t give up until the entire problem is solved. The problem being that homeowners don’t have complete control over their homes as assets, which include financing and outcomes.